Using Data to Improve Retail PLM Functions | Trace One

| Insights & Analytics
Posted By: Trace One

Faced with unprecedented market pressures, retail companies now need a better way to do business.


What’s impacting the consumer goods market? National brands are hitting back at private label with price competition and aggressive marketing. Hard discounters Aldi and Lidl are driving costs out of the supply chain to keep their prices consistently low. Disruptive direct-to-consumer startups like Brandless and Public Goods are wooing consumers with private label goods that save them time and money. Plus, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods has pressured grocers around the world to speed up their rollout of exceptional omnichannel offerings.


What’s worse is that retailers lack the depth of information they need to contend with such intense, unrelenting industry upheaval. They have had difficulties trying to analyze their retail business data to proactively identify – and solve – issues with their business processes.

That is, until now. Last fall, retail companies gained access to a new, robust business intelligence solution with deeper data insights than ever before. Trace One Insight helps retailers and suppliers differentiate their companies through private label data and proactive analytics, so they collaborate better internally and across their supply chain to serve shoppers better.


How data helps multiple retail functions

 To help retail teams succeed, Trace One Insight was designed with diverse retail needs in mind. That’s why this multifunctional solution can be used by everyone from executives in C-suite offices to quality managers on a factory floor. The solution makes retail processes smoother by giving stakeholders validated data and high-level dashboards they can use every day.


While decision makers often feel overwhelmed like they’re drowning in data, Trace One Insight keeps things simple, clear and actionable. That way decision makers across all functions can align their efforts with corporate, team and individual goals to improve performance across their company. For example:


  • Executives can easily view what is happening in their business, as Trace One Insight provides a clear, easy solution. A high-level dashboard helps decision makers efficiently evaluate thousands of products at a glance. While suppliers offer the technical elements within the supply chain, retailers have the overall responsibility to ensure their private label products deliver on their claims, and Trace One Insight helps them stay accountable. The solution is also customizable and scalable to keep up with retail companies’ evolving needs and market requirements.
  • Quality managers win by using Trace One Insight by ensuring suppliers develop products properly according to retailers’ desires. They can also access relevant data related to product claims, product recipes, nutrition facts and allergens, which can ultimately impact consumers’ purchase decisions.
  • Product managers, especially those who plan to launch products with new suppliers or refresh their product range, can gain business intelligence for a deeper perspective to integrate into their plans. For instance, the data insights may pinpoint where and why a delay exists due to process inefficiency. Product managers can also identify assortment gaps and opportunities to grow their product lines.
  • Packaging managers can use Trace One Insight to easily and efficiently collaborate with marketing agencies to attract their target market with appealing designs, and ensure the product information is correct and easy to read. Packaging managers can determine whether processes are on track and on time, and whether each stakeholder is completing their role in the process. They can even access metrics on the use of recyclable material to prove their company is reducing the amount of plastics or aluminum in their packaging.
  • Buyers can use Trace One Insights, as the data can make them even better prepared and gain greater negotiating power. Since buyers focus on getting the best possible price for in-demand products, it is important for them to access richer market data. For instance, since their retail company needs to maximize speed to market, a buyer needs to know which suppliers are most reliable, fastest and most compliant. In addition, volume sales figures can help them negotiate better prices for raw materials to reduce the overall price of product.

Keeping up with consumer values

Trace One Insight also helps companies report on key concerns that matter to consumers, including such emerging trends as:


  • Health and wellness: Consumers now pay more attention to what they eat, and they are pressuring companies to reduce the sugar, salt and fat composition of their food products. In addition, you can remove controversial ingredients or additives, which consumers distrust, like palm oil. Data insights can help companies prove they are reducing the amount of these ingredients over time.
  • Dietary needs: Retail companies can report on product insights related to allergens, and filter information to determine the percentage of products within their assortment that are certified organic, kosher and halal.
  • Sustainability: Companies can show their commitment to reducing waste by measuring and reporting on metrics like the percentage of packaging materials that are recyclable. For products containing wood, companies can evaluate the amount of wood coming from certified and sustainable channels.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): To adapt to the rise of conscious consumerism, companies can report on food safety certifications for countries with different standards and fair trade metrics related to the ethical treatment of workers around the world. In addition, Trace One Insight can help companies report regional initiatives, such as a retailer’s percentage of products ‘Made in the USA.’ It can also track products according to the European Union’s list of all chemical elements, which companies must declare and offer visibility to the consumer for consumer confidence in an item’s safety and quality.

As retail evolves, let data drive your decisions

Instead of a technical business intelligence platform, Trace One Insight is a solution that includes deep market expertise from in-house retail consultants who understand retailers’ and suppliers’ needs, including product quality, packaging and speed to market. Trace One Insights’ off-the-shelf dashboards are ready to use, efficient and user-friendly, so users can start to access relevant data insights right away. As the retail sector faces tumultuous changes over the next few years, consider using data to differentiate your business, make wise decisions faster, collaborate better with supply chain partners and gain a competitive edge.